Picking the Right Job Offer
An MBA can offer many a dream job in the career of their choice.
But how exactly can you make the “right” choice when it comes to a job offer?
Kimberly A. Whitler, an assistant professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and senior contributor at Forbes, recently offered some advice on how MBAs can pick the right job offer.
FIT IS MORE IMPORTANT
Whittier says when it comes to picking the “right” company, fit is critical.
“Out of graduate school, I found myself choosing between two companies—one which had a better reputation for developing finance-focused general managers (which was more of my emphasis) and one where I really liked the people and the culture,” Whittier writes. “The work at both firms excited me, but I sensed that my working style would fit in better at one firm—that I would be more accepted—and thus, likely have better success.”
And while most MBAs may be trained to choose the higher “ranked” company, Whittier says, fit is more important at the end of the day.
“When I now look back on the decision, both companies were great companies,” she writes. “And yet, I somehow felt the need to figure out which one was ‘ranked’ as the better company. Somehow, with the right guidance and ‘gut’ instinct, I found my ‘right fit’ and ignored the noise. And I now realize how silly this ranking was. Both companies were highly rated. The ‘right’ one was the best one for me.”
Finding the right “fit,” ultimately, is a personal decision, Whittier says.
“Which firm is the best fit for your skills, your talent, and your style? That, then, is the best firm for you,” she writes. “Where do you feel most comfortable when you are around the people? And which description of the work gets you most excited? Be careful of the noise and the pressure.”
TOP TIER IS TOP TIER
Darden School of Business consistently ranks high in career prospects for MBAs.
Median starting salaries and sign-on bonuses rose by 6.6% to $162,000 for the Class of 2019 MBAs from $152,000 last year. And 97% receive a job offer within three months of graduation.
According to Whittier, companies that recruit at Darden (and most MBA programs for that matter) tend to be the top 5%.
To that note, Whittier says, determining a rank order between companies is silly.
“The one that is the best is the one where you will fit in the best,” she writes. “So when decision-making time comes and you are agonizing over top tier company A or top tier company B, remember that both are top tier. The best one is the one where you think the environment will activate your potential.”